Canoe Trip in Canada

     I’ve always liked the concept of canoeing down a river. Since I’ve seen the classic movie La riviere du Diable, Devil's riverDeliverance earlier this year, I seriously began to consider having such an adventure.  Not that I  especially wanted to experience being chased by mental hillbillies. I was attracted to this unusual kind of transportation,  because that would allow me to make my way through remote places, that are usually inaccessible to us.

I needed an opportunity to make this project happen. I couldn’t have thought of a better moment than during my trip to Canada, where I was going to visit my brother in Montreal. We planned to go to the Mont-Tremblant national park, North of Montreal, and in a few hours, we were ready to go.We left early on a Saturday morning. We soon left the city,  and yet an endless forest  of conifers was surrounding the highway. Once we arrived to the park, we picked up the gear and got in a school bus, to be dropped at the departure location. After a memorable journey on the chaotic tracks of the park, we were eventually aboard the canoe, on a lovely little lake. It was 10 in the morning, but the sun was already high in the summer sky.

We spent the whole day rowing on the Devil’s river, as they call it.  The route was exciting and the scenery amazing. We had to cross lakes of various sizes on the way. Times to times, the river was narrow and the stream faster. We had to maneuver the canoe carefully in order not to end upside down. I’m used to practice sea-kayaking, and I had already done rafting before, but this, I had never experienced before. It is a great way to explore nature. One thing though, I had the feeling that I was like ‘controlled’. I actually realized that this was coming from the fact that we were just following the river, and I was not used to ‘follow’ one single route without having any choice to do. Usually, it’s rather checking the map every 10 minutes and decide the next step. Anyway, I there discovered a way to travel that gave me unexpected sensations, and that is great!

Reflecting watersThe landscapes were breathtaking. It was precisely what people think of when they hear the word ‘Canada’ (after snow and cold of course :)): lakes and fir trees… lots of trees. All conditions were reunited to make this trip magical.  It was very warm, the sky was deep blue, and the few clouds were strangely appearing to us in 3 dimensions.  Times to times, the sky was clearly reflected by the water, like a blurry image of our reality. The  area was extremely quiet and the atmosphere relaxing. Often, we could see beautiful birds of various species, fishes, or animals on the river bank. Unfortunately, we did not have the chance to see any caribou or bigger animals.

The night arrived, and we stopped at a campsite (Yes, I believe that a canoe trip without at least a night in the dark Canadian forest is not a full trip!). Some people had already settled there. They were very friendly and my brother and I had a really interesting discussion with them. They told us a lot about Canada, Quebec and the local culture. We stayed awake until late, talking around the fire, and this is a great memory.

The second day, we left the campsite late, and canoed to the big Lac Escalier. The place was lovely. Some people were swimming or tanning on small beaches. My brother and I were having a break when we saw something rather unexpected. Just in front of us, albeit there was no wind, a… whirlwind started to form over the lake! I had never seen that before! For a moment, I’m pretty sure it was more than 6 or 7 feet high, and the whole thing lasted maybe 30 seconds at least! A couple of old people came to discuss of that with us, because they had never seen that either.

Some time later, we crossed the lake, and eventually reached the extracting point around 4pm. It was my first experience canoeing and I really enjoyed it. I am very happy having shared this experience with my brother, with whom I now have a stronger relationship. This is not my last canoe trip. The next one will be longer, and more technical.

Boarding of Lac aux Herbes

Boarding at Lac aux Herbes

Small islet on Lake aux Herbes

Small islet on Lake aux Herbes

Tree on a small rockLa riviere du Diable, Devil's riverLa riviere du Diable, Devil's riverLa riviere du Diable, Devil's riverRock before the rapidsGreen in the waterGreen river bankReflecting waters

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15 Responses to Canoe Trip in Canada

  1. tjbalinas says:

    I enjoyed reading and sight seeing the beauty of nature! Wonderful photos! Thanks

  2. thebrewguy says:

    Sounds like a great trip. The pictures and your description remind me of my trip this summer to Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. If you do another trip like this, I would definitely recommend Algonquin. It was a beautiful canoe trip, even with all the portages.

  3. Alternativepoet says:

    Amazing photo’s Orel,thanks for visiting my Place,glad you liked the post… :-)

  4. bigbadwolf31 says:

    haha, who wouldn’t want to be chased down the river by mental hillbillies? no canoe trip should be without them.

    this sounds like an amazing trip (although I’d prefer to be lying on a sofa with a good book) – so I’ll just have to make do with reading about other people’s adventures. love all the pictures.

  5. Aiko says:

    Nice – I would also like to do a canoe trip one day. So glad you enjoyed Canada!

  6. Perfect photographs and great writing. Well done, Orel!

  7. shingirl says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love your wonderful photos, they make me want to travel to those places too!

  8. Anita says:

    Your canoe trip sounds awesome! I’m going to Canada this spring for the first time, and I can’t wait to explore the amazing nature over there. Very nice pictures!

  9. georgeruns says:

    My cousin, Louis, was on the canoe trip that was the inspiration of Deliverance. The real thing was much tamer than the movie. They did not meet any mental hillbillies on it either.

  10. tokyoaaron says:

    I enjoyed reading about and looking at pictures of your adventures in Canada’s wilderness! I’ve done a lot of backpacking, canoeing, and kayaking on Canada’s lakes, but I’ve never seen the kind of small tornado you describe. I wonder what caused it?

    • Orel Engel says:

      Hello :) What I saw was more like a vertical swirling column of air (and I guess water too) that had formed over the lake. It was just a few feet high but high enough to be impressive. I wasn’t satisfied with the word tornado but had to use it given my ignorance in this field.
      I just did a quick search on wikipedia and you made me realize a tornado has to be in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cloud, which is not the case here :P. From what I’ve read what I saw would be more of a whirlwind. I’m gonna change my mistake now :)

      • seekraz says:

        Beautiful pictures again, Orel…and given that English isn’t your first language, I think you did wonderfully telling your story in someone else’s language. Thank you,,,. :)

  11. That’s wild about the tornado, quite a memorable event for a first canoe trip! I’m really enjoying your photos and reading about your explorations.

  12. marion says:

    Bravo Orel, c’est très bien écrit… j’ai hâte de lire les autres aventures!!

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